tv [untitled] July 21, 2011 1:00pm-1:30pm PDT
chairman mirkarimi. . absolutely. absolutely. thank you very much. next public speaker. >> my name is karl. i'm here on behalf of the local chapter of the american immigration lawyers association. i would like to emphasize many of the principles that i've heard today. i've been warmed by some of the concepts that i've heard. obviously rebuilding trust in our communities. community policing. those are things that don't just affect the african-american community. they affect the immigrant populations, the latino communities in many districts in this community, the asian communities as well. we need to implement policies. i was warmed by what i heard from the mental health department with regard to intervention, early intervention. in the communities. putting clinics in the
districts. i believe that these are effective ways to gain traction on these issues. i also hope to see more involvement from the sheriff's department. i think that inputting the sheriff in place of the police department where we have issues with rebuilding trust is an important change. one of these places where we see that is an important shift, i anticipate, getting deputy sheriffs to do the booking rather than the police department. thank you for your time. chairman mirkarimi: thank you. next speaker, please. bithe way, all the rest of the cards that i have here and other people who want to speak, you should just come on up.
>> living in the bay view and working in visitation valley, i know what the scommupt about. -- community is about. i also express the sentiment that a lot of money that's supposed to be come willing forward to deal with realignment, enough of it does not get to the communities. so the people who are actually in the trenches doing this work. it is nice to be able to have a certain segment, being able to get released early. but unless we have some kind of process where we are actually going to deal with job creations and make a reality, not just training but actual job creations where they can be implemented in the various communities.
i often woppedered -- wondered what would have happened if on the transit line that they would have had a lot of these young people acting as transit people to deal with the tickets. instead of armed police. i wonder if that young person would still be alive today. there's a lot of money that is being duplicated and being spent in the wrong places. we don't necessarily need more policing. we need a better understanding of who we're actually dealing with. and if we are and were more sensitized to each other, a lot of these problems wouldn't be here that we're trying to deal with today. the train has already left the stations. prisoners have been overcrowded for way too many years. how many of us is actually going to be in the trenches trying to make a difference when these people get to our communities? [tone] it remains to be seen. i deal with a lot of people recently out of prison. they talk about the frustration of not being able to work. they talk about the anger of do
they got to go back and do something that would put them back in harms way. so the reality is that we need to make some money available for community reps that actually work with this population instead of giving it to the big boxes. [tone] i'm glad to see that we have came out in support of realignment. chairman mirkarimi: thank you. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon, supervisors. my name is lisa marie. i'm a statewide organizer with critical resistance and californians united for a responsible budget. having spent some time in other counties also dealing with realignment, it is clear that there's statewide consensus that realignment runs a huge potential of merely shifting the responsibility of overcrowding from the state to the counties. i think that san francisco county is playing a critical role as acting as a model county for other counties
throughout california. so i want to appreciate the leadership of the s.f. county executive committee for prioritizing alternative and community aid programming in this plan. and i want to push and encourage this board to take it one step further. there are other bowled and precedent setting -- bold and precedent-setting moves that we need you to take. i think, supervisor cohen, your point around s.f. taking on probation duties, what we saw in l.a. county is a huge red flag for a violation of fourth amendment rights for people. that's a huge concern. think we absolutely need to revisit that and take that responsibility away from sfpd i think the idea of potentially opening closed jails is terrible. if we open them, we will fill them. we will just continue to have overcrowding in our counties. i think that also needs to be taken off the table and another model moved that s.f. county can take for the state to show
that putting people in jail, continuing to crowd our jails is not the answer to any of this. i think there are other precedent and setting moves that you can make that have to do with putting political pressure on sackmaster to push sentencing reform. it's absolutely ridiculous that that's off the table. that that's nowhere around the conversations of realignment and overcrowding. we need leadership through the mechanisms that you have in place in sackmaster to put that pressure on our -- in sacramento to put the pressure on our officials to make those bold moves. i'm still concerned the way i hear other folks talk about these community members who are going to be coming home to us. [tone] we need to pay attention to how we're talking about them. these are our family members, our people, our children. we have an over relyance on police and imprisonment. we need shift that. thank you. chairman mirkarimi: thank you very much. next speaker, please.
>> good p evening. curve is to reduce the number of prisons and jails in our state and redirect funding to community-based resources to all of the institutions that we know actually create public safety like job development and all the things that we heard today. so i wanted to also acknowledge the leadership of the s.f. county executive committee in prioritizing alternatives and community-based programming. and i wanted to encourage that even more funding being directed to work force developments and all of the things that we saw in the budget earlier today so have more of the funding go away from the sheriff's department and towards the services and the communities that are going to create the kind of long-term public safety outcomes that our
county needs. and then i also wanted to echo what the previous speaker said around s.f. county being a model to other counties. we're working statewide with a lot of counties on their realignment plans. and i was so excited to hear a lot of the way you all are talking about alternatives through incarceration and programming. and i encourage you to share those models with other counties. because we're seeing a lot of threats of other counties expanding their jail capacity instead of actually supporting people to be successful in the community and stay in the community as opposed to increasing people's times in the jails. and then curb, a lot of the work we're doing is also on the state level. and a lot of the pushback we're hearing from legislators from the governor's office and from the cdcr is that there's no political will for parole and sentencing reform.
and i think that that's not true. and that if we don't actually start shifting our priorities on the state level in the same way that we're seeing happening in san francisco county that we're -- [tone] we're going continue to see an over reliance on incarceration in our state. and then finally, i just wanted to put in a plug that i hope that san francisco becomes the first county to adopt a non-discrimination standard in our city and countywide that prohibit discrimination against people with past criminal histories in employment and housing. know that's a conversation happening in our county. chairman mirkarimi: i think supervisor cohen may have a question for you. >> great. supervisor cohen: you said discrimination standards. >> one of the conversations that's happening right now in san francisco county is around adopting nondiscrimination standards city and countywide that would prohibit
discrimination against any people who have a past criminal history. and that would protect people in employment and housing county and state wide. just wanted to encourage the board of supervisors to support that. supervisor cohen: is this the same as the human rights commission? >> yeah. thank you. chairman mirkarimi: thank you. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon. james patrick carroll, democratic candidate for governor. i mean, for -- my career has taken off rather quickly, but i'm the democratic candidate for mayor of san francisco. i appreciated supervisor cohen's comments. listening to ross rattle off the numbers, the various speakers, listening to the
demographic and the reality which will be our burden here in the city. and as mayor, i would be -- i'm very concerned to see a population of thousands of convicts overflooding our services and programs as well as housing for marginally house adults and homeless people here in san francisco which we have labored and worked so hard over the past 15 years to put into place. i don't believe the $5.7 million will be enough to cover the programs and services, the recovery programs and the housing which will be necessary . not to mention the job training . and i also have concerns that not only would this not be enough, the $5.7 million to
cover all of these aspects, but it is also likely to displace marginally housed adults overwhelming our precious recovery and housing program. [tone] and i believe it would place an undue burden on both the sheriff as well as the police departments. i intend as mayor to create a police watch dog group which would be empowered by the federal level to stop brutality against black men and stop police brutality and put it in check once and for all in the city of san francisco. [tone] i will, indeed, be urging a no vote. thank you. chairman mirkarimi: thank you very much. next speaker, please.
>> bless all of you. bless you, in the name of jesus. i, bishop lee, runs a home for -- i don't call them convicts. i just call them people. i was in the penitentiary for 20 years. and i had a brain tumor. and no one knew about it. and when i got 56, somebody found out that i had a brain tumor. that was pushing me to commit crime. and i applaud the health community. because when we go to penitentiary no one finds out about that. no one finds out about that that we have a mental discord. i have sugar diabetes. i have high blood pressure and
some other things. and no one found out about that. so i direct a home -- and i find out that a lot of people that went to the penitentiary are sick. are sick. and they shouldn't have been in there. they should not have been in there. so i direct a home -- and i find out that half the people that has to go to the penitentiary, they're hurting. they're hurting. and no one knows that they're sick. and they do things out of character about their condition. and nobody knows about it. and the lady that was speaking on the health department, she was sure on. [tone] she was sure on. that most -- some of the people don't supposed to be there because they have mental problems. and i deal with them every day.
and i see their need. talking is just talking. but when you in there and see how sick some of these people are, and they have penitentiary records and they cannot get anyplace because they're held against. [tone] they cannot get no housing. and they're sick. that's a dirty shame. that's a dirty shame. chairman mirkarimi: thank you. thank you very much. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon, supervisor mirkarimi, supervisor cohen. my name is mindy. i am a senior job developer. i work with anders & anders. we go into the county jails quite often. and what we hear is the clients have no access to jobs. they are unaware when they get out what is available to them. and we work a lot with the construction union trades. and that is a great avenue for
ex-offenders. there is no background check for the construction trade. what we need is for to you pay attention to the fact that we need funds to put people into these great jobs that will make them self-sufficient, and give them a livable wage so they don't have to go back. there's a lot of vocational training that is happening in the city. a lot of it is not connected to the job placement component. if you train someone with skills, you should have a job available to them for those skills that they're getting. i also wanted to tell you that we work in the trenches in bayview and the home of the largest concentration of ex-offenders. once again, the big boxes come in. they put in programs. and the small community-based organizations have to really use their own funds to get
people into unions to pay for their tools, to give them clothing and attire to get to the job. and they don't even have transportation sometimes. so there's a lot of small things that can happen to get them tools, tooled up, booted, suited, transportation to all the construction jobs that are in their neighborhood. thank you. chairman mirkarimi: thank you very much. next speaker, please. anybody who else would like to speak? i've run out of yellow cards. just stand in the aisle, one after the other. thank you. >> thank you so much for the opportunity to speak. i come here as a taxpayer and as a former emergency room worker who's worked quite a bit with exactly the kind of population we're talking about today. and i'm also -- because some of the conversation has been about the event last night in the bay view, i was witness to that event. i went to go hear chief the
chief speak, and i went to hear what the community had to say. i was disappointed that it wasn't able to happen. but i do want to provide testimony that almost all of the people who were actually from the bayview really wanted to hear the chief speak. i thought that he was very respectful. i'm hoping -- one of the optimistic things he said was that he intended to come back. it was actually quite moving. it was unfortunate that the event broke down in the way it did. but i'm optimistic that there will be another opportunity. i would also like to say that as someone who had never been to the bayview, i was treated tremendously kindly. and i didn't feel -- [inaudible] the kinds of things you hear about the place, i just didn't find -- i'm surprised now to learn that it has the largest number of ex-offenders.
i think that the elephant in the room in this discussion about the budget is really how much of this money that we're funneling in to the prison system is really about the drug war. and eye a big man of paul volcker. the news that paul volcker signed off on that commission report on the utter failure of the drug war. [tone] i think we really need to start addressing this at a local level. as michelle alexander made clear in her book, which the reverend brought up, "the new jim crow" the disparities between sentencing are absolutely terrible. but it's also a huge waste of taxpayer money. thank you very much. chairman mirkarimi: thank you very much. quite agree about the drug war. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon. thanks for the opportunity to speak. i received the invitation from rob on your staff. i'm with the aclu of northern california. and we have been working with
counties around the state as the realignment. legislation came down try to help advocate for really plans very much like the one that we have seen coming out of our probation department so we think it's a good plan overall. i think that the chief is still to be commended and the folks on the executive committee. we do have a few concerns that i would like to share with you briefly, and also some suggestions about thinking about the future. we share the concerns that have been expressed by the public offenders office about how exactly this is going to roll out in terms of the post release supervision rev indication proceedings, particularly the incarceration. we have to see how that is implemented. the but there is an inherent tension between the idea of swift and certain punishment, which is the idea of lash incarceration. and intention between that and due process. if someone tests positive with
these preliminary tests for having used drugs and is incarcerated immediately for five days, by the time we find out it was a false-positive, it's too late for that person in those five days. so we have some concerns about that. we also are a little concerned about the suggestion that san francisco might get into the jail rental business. i think it makes a lot of sense that san francisco has the capacity right now, because we've done a great job. and as the chief pointed out, unfortunately the legislation right now, as it stands, ab 109's funding mechanisms does seem to incentivize and kind of disproportionately reward counties unlike san francisco that have been sending foam state prison for all of these years. don't believe san francisco should be enabling those counties to continue that same kind of behavior. all right, there's too much uncertainty about what the numbers are going to be. it runs throughout --
[tone] chairman mirkarimi: please, finish your thoughts. >> thanks. it runs throughout the plan that the numbers are very uncertain so while it seems that we have a lot of capacity right now in our jails, i don't think we should take for granted the fact that that's going to actually be the case. so i encourage you not to get into the jail rental business. and finally, just thinking about front and sentencing reform i know that that's not something obviously that the board of supervisors can implement, but it should be on the table. and there should be legislation. the aclu is pushing for legislation to try to reduce the sentences for low-level drug crimes and low-level non-violent property crimes so that there are less people coming into the system with those long sentences and less people suffering the horrible burdens of a felony conviction that make that much more difficult to re-enter and to keep from reas i had rate ising. we think it's a good start. but i would encourage you to keep thinking about some of these. the last thing i'll mention is the idea of pre-arrest -- prebooking diversion. that's something that's not
discussed in the plan. think that it's something that is left open as a possibility. and it's certainly something that i think is being experimented with in other places like seattle, where folks can be put into some of these same programs that we know are successful in helping them re-enter after they've been incarcerated. they can be putting these programs at the front end, right? that the police can have an assessment and intake process by which the appropriate folks are put directly into services rather than going through the overburdened, expensive court system. that's something we're going to be pushing in the future. chairman mirkarimi: next speaker, please. >> good afternoon, safety commission. i'm walter. ♪ somebody waiting in the prison system waiting to be really soon be free don't try to run i can keep up with you nothing can stop me please fix the criminal justice
system realignment, too ♪ ♪ open your city to me you -- i hold the lock and you hold the key ♪ ♪ o is such a large, large number open your city to the you i hold the lock and you you hold the key ♪ ♪ dee, dee da, da, dee ♪ >> and ♪ treat med kind sweet destiny carried me -- help me through desperation for a realignment system waiting for me i had to be strong
and still i believe i had a vision of better safety committee and mayor lee and the prison realignment system with all that should turn out to be♪ ♪ treated me kind keep up the good work now make it better better soon for those released to be free now♪ chairman mirkarimi: thank you. any other public comments, please step forward. if not, we will close public comments. public comment is now closed on this hearing. i want to thank all the city stakeholders today in helping us vet the implementation plan for prisoner realignment, bill
109. i want to compliment all of those from within the city, re-entry council, and those within the non-profit communities for their contributions to this program. if you like, chief, maybe we could just have a couple of closing remarks, if you could come back up for a second. i guess one closing question is the next milestone. because between now and october begins the process. of really beginning to put out the welcome mat. so we may want to return right after labor day to figure out just how prepared we are, and if there's been any new developments in that level of preparation. do you want to speak to that? >> just real quickly. what will happen between now and october 1 is we have the work groups, the initial work group. now we will go in meet individually with the agencies about working out the technicalities. we've got the overall base plan. now it's going to be the
policies and procedures, how the actual handoff will happen. an important thing to happen, though, will be to get the actual budget and resources approved because of the fact that, you know, i know that i'm going to have on october 1 these post release cases to supervise so that will be something that will be very important to us. chairman mirkarimi: i also noticed from some of the public comments that there has to be, i think, a better education and promotion of what adult probation and the sheriff's department does and other departments. because i think the observation and experience of people in the community is it is somewhat of a stale steal or relic strategy? dealing with diversion and alternative sentencing. think -- i think there has been very good programs that the city has undertaken that makes it part of that buffet, i guess , that the re-entry council
created to help. i think the general public needs to know that. that these strategies are not strategies of just lock them up and throw away the key and then try to process them through the probation system, but that there are new strategies that have been blended in. and good ones, because they've been tried and tested successfully. and i think that based on what comments i've heard, not really everybody is aware of what those programs are >> thank you, supervisor. and i agree. we've spent a lot of time over the last 18 months expanding our program. we have a learning center where individuals can -- that are on probation, can get their g.e.d., their high school diploma. part of our strategy, part of the plan, the resource that we talked about is to have a community assessment and service center so individuals that are under supervision can
go and get the services, employment referrals, vocational training, housing referrals, health, mental health substance abuse, day reporting, financial literacy , parenting, life skills. so there is obviously a need for us to expand the knowledge, especially as we'll have the resources to be able to have these programs happen within our purview. chairman mirkarimi: thank you very much. thank you, everybody. this has been, i think, a very thorough hearing. and obviously another installment as we get closer to the implementation plan. i'm going to continue this to the call of the chair. no action is needed. but we do have two resolutions coming up that i need to take a quick two-minute break since we're a two-person quorum. we're going to call for a two-minute break and return very shortly.